Yale Professor Samuel See's Cause of Death May Take Months to Determine

See died in jail after allegedly telling New Haven cops 'I will kill you.'

Yale Professor Samuel See, left, was found dead at the Union Avenue Detention Facility in New Haven, Conn., right, on Nov. 24, 2013.
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Medical examiners have not been able to determine a cause of death for Yale University professor Samuel See, who was found dead Nov. 24 in a New Haven, Conn., jail cell. An explanation of how See died may not be available for months.

See, 34, was arrested Nov. 23 after his estranged husband, Sunder Ganglani, 32, arrived at See's New Haven home to collect his belongings. The two men had protective orders against each other. A relative of See's called the police after Ganglani exceeded an agreed upon 2-hour moving window.

A police report says See "became enraged," WVIT-TV reported, when responding officers told him Ganglani had a protective order, too, and moved to arrest him. See allegedly shouted "I will kill you... I will destroy you" at police after resisting handcuffs inside his home. He was charged with violating a protective order, interfering with police and threatening. See was treated for a cut above his eye at Yale-New Haven Hospital before arriving at the Union Avenue Detention Facility at 9:10 p.m. He was found dead around 6 a.m. the next day.

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The Connecticut Judicial Branch and New Haven police are investigating See's death, the cause of which the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is attempting to determine.

"It's going to take a couple months" to puzzle out why See died, a representative of the medical examiner's office said. "It's pending further studies, we haven't gotten a definitive answer."

Doctors were unable to find an obvious cause and are running more tests, according to the medical examiner's office.

"We have nothing new at this point," said Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, spokeswoman for the Connecticut Judicial Branch. The New Haven Police Department's designated spokesperson is on vacation and was unable to provide an update.

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Some members of the local press are already upset about the delayed disclosure of See's death, which was announced after three days, on Nov. 27. "It wasn't anything sinister," New Haven Assistant Police Chief Archie Generoso assured The New Haven Register Monday. "Without throwing people under the bus, it was an oversight." A staff editorial published Tuesday by The Register, however, says the disclosure "came far too late" and calls the death "a stunning event about which the public deserved to know in far less than three days."

See was an assistant professor of English at Yale. He graduated from California State University with a bachelor's degree and earned a Ph.D in English from the University of California at Los Angeles. See married Ganglani in May. The Register reported Friday that See may have at one time marketed himself online as a New Haven-based escort. See and Ganglani were due in court Dec. 5 for a hearing about their Sept. 18 arrests for allegedly assaulting each other.

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